Former Penn State quarterback Steven Bench announced Thursday on Twitter that he's on his way to South Florida, where he can compete for the starting job immediately thanks to the NCAA sanctions levied against the Nittany Lions. Bench played sparingly behind Matt McGloin as a true freshman last season and has three years of eligibility remaining.
The move ends USF's long wait for a transfer quarterback, which had SB Nation's Voodoo Five closely following each QB on the move. The Bulls reportedly missed on Florida State's Clint Trickett (to West Virginia) and Arkansas' Brandon Mitchell (to N.C. State) and weren't in the running for Oklahoma State's Wes Lunt.
When he announced his intention to transfer, three schools emerged as potential destinations: N.C. State, South Florida and Mississippi State. The Bulldogs return incumbent Tyler Russell, but both N.C. State and USF have been looking for replacements for starters who graduated after last season.
Bench appeared in two games for Penn State, completing two of eight passes for 12 yards. He was competing for the starting job with junior college transfer Tyler Ferguson this spring, but it sounds as though he wasn't going to be the coaching staff's choice for 2013 and beyond.
Coming out of high school, Bench was a consensus three-star recruit with good speed -- 247Sports lists a 4.68 40-yard dash time. He originally committed to play for Rice before being given the opportunity to play for the Nittany Lions.
Bench on the move:
"I want to get my face in the play book and get ready to go," Steven Bench said. "Coach (Willie) Taggart is a real confident guy...."— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) May 23, 2013